tv PBS News Hour PBS March 6, 2013 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> ifill: the house of representatives today approved legislation to keep the government up and running this time, three weeks in advance of a new deadline. but the bill still faces hurdles in the democratic controlled senate. >> on this vote, the yeas are 267, the nays are 151, the bill is passed without objection a motion to reconsider is laid on the table. >> ifill: anxious to avoid yet another washington budget showdown, the house today agreed to a spending bill to finance the government through september, and avert a potentially devastating government shutdown. the g.o.p. measure would leave in place $85 billion in across- the board spending cuts that took effect last week. but it would give the pentagon and veterans affairs department greater flexibility to manage
the reductions. kentucky republican hal rogers chairs the appropriations committee. >> this bill takes the risk of a government shutdown off the table, funding the government for the rest of the fiscal year, while helping maintain our national security and providing our troops and veterans with consistent, adequate funding. >> ifill: texas republican house democrats said the cuts should be stripped from the bill. virginia lawmaker gerry connolly: >> we have to get our arms around spending but not in a mindless, meat axe way. it is going to hurt america. and to bake it into this continuing resolution, in my view, is a terrible mistake. >> ifill: the bill now goes to the senate, where majority leader harry reid said democrats hope to build in even more exceptions to the automatically- mandated cuts. house minority leader nancy pelosi said once that happens, the commitment of republicans to averting a shutdown would be put
to the test. >> the senate's not going to accept this bill. and when they don't, they'll send back another bill, and we'll just see how many votes there are on the republican side to keep government open, because we have absolutely no intention of having government shut down. >> ifill: oklahoma republican tom cole conceded that today's action is just the first step toward resolving the recurring budget and spending debate. >> we can have, i think, a good negotiation, going back and forth between the two parties. this is the beginning of a process. it's the beginning of a return to regular order. and it's an opportunity to work, i think, in a bipartisan fashion. >> ifill: with an eye on the inclement weather outside, house republicans also moved up today's vote by 24 hours. also if the weather holds, president obama was scheduled to dine tonight with a group of republican senators, in part in response to complaints that he has failed to reach across the aisle.
and mr. obama announced plans to visit capitol hill next week for meetings with house and senate republicans. >> woodruff: still to come on the "newshour": too much money for too few results in iraq; national mourning in venezuela after the death of hugo chavez; the vatican out of touch with american catholics. plus, a made for the stage drama at the bolshoi ballet. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: a powerful late- winter storm that tracked all the way from montana to the east coast deposited a snowy, icy mess on the mid-atlantic today. in washington, federal offices closed ahead of the storm, but the city and its immediate surroundings mostly got rain. farther out in virginia, pennsylvania and maryland, as much as a foot of snow accumulated in some places. the snow that did fall was heavy and wet, snapping tree limbs and power lines and leaving up to 200,000 people without power. the state of arkansas will now have the most restrictive abortion law in the country. republicans dominating the legislature overrode a gubernatorial veto today.
the new law includes a near-ban on abortions after the 12th week of pregnancy. it's slated to take effect this summer, but a court challenge is certain. a small group of u.s. senators today filibustered the nomination of john brennan to be director of the c.i.a. they focused on whether the government would ever use drone aircraft to attack americans, inside the u.s. kentucky republican rand paul cited a letter from attorney general eric holder. it said drone strikes on u.s. soil might be considered in an extraordinary circumstance, such as 9/11. paul said he's alarmed. >> you can't take away someone's life and liberty without due process or an indictment. so it should trouble every american. i can't imagine that there wouldn't be an american in our country that would not be troubled that we're talking about killing non combatants in american with drone strikes. >> several other republicans joined the filibuster, as did
oregon democrat ron wyden. he supports the brennan nomination, but he cited civil liberties concerns over the drone issue. meanwhile, attorney general holder told a senate hearing that the administration will work to allay any fears. >> i have heard you-- the president has heard you and others who have raised this concern on both sides of the aisle. so i think there is going to be a greater effort at the transparency. a number of steps are going to be taken. i expect you will hear the president speaking about this. >> later, senator paul insisted the filibuster will go on, until he gets a letter from president obama, promising not to use drones on american soil. in afghanistan, president hamid karzai warned afghan forces today to put an end to incidents of torture and other abuse. an afghan government investigation has found widespread mistreatment at government-run prisons. an earlier, u.n. investigation had reached similar conclusions. karzai addressed the problem in a speech to the afghan parliament today.
>> ( translated ): the investigation showed that during the arrests by the foreign forces and their local partners, who are our forces, people have been abused. this is a serious order from the president, that this should be stopped and cameras should be set up during interrogations to stop the abuse. >> until now, karzai had placed the blame for prison abuse solely on nato troops. the exodus of refugees from syria has now topped one million. the u.n. refugee agency reported the figure today. it also said 700,000 more syrians have not yet registered. meanwhile, britain moved to give more help to the syrian rebels, while heavy fighting continued in northern syria. we have a report narrated by jonathan miller of "independent television news." >> reporter: on the banks of the euphrates river, a two day battle's been hard-won today by syria's rebel fighters: the city of raqa now the first syrian provincial capital out of regime control. it was pretty intense.
this afternoon, the regime hit back. airstrikes targeting what the rebels had renamed freedom square. freedom has come at a high price in raqqa, it seems. today, in the house of commons, britain's foreign secretary announced what some say is a landmark shift in policy; the uk, he said would provide millions of pounds of non-lethal military equipment to syria's rebels. the government concedes there are no easy answers, but mr. hague said that faced with what he called "increasingly extreme humanitarian suffering" and diplomatic deadlock, britain could not look the other way. the syrian exodus has gathered pace so dramatically that the one-million milestone's been reached four months before the un refugee agency predicted it would. it's taken just three months for the numbers to double. more than half are children and only a dribble of the money the world pledged a month ago has been forthcoming.
this is how fast the zaatari refugee camp has expanded in jordan's northern desert-- 2,500 tents last september. 18,000 last month. >> 1 million refugees, but accelerating in a dramatic way, 3,000 a day in december, 5,000 a day in january, 8,000 a day in february >> reporter: what the british government effectively said today was that helping the rebels was the best bet for stopping the conflict and the refugee exodus. but two years into this civil war and what syria's rebels want is lethal assistance, arguing that failing to actually arm them is prolonging the conflict. a small group of syrian rebels, one of more than a thousand such groups that have sprung up just since last year, are tonight holding hostage 20 u.n. peacekeepers-- all filipinos. they seized them on the golan heights. they won't release them, they
say, until the u.n. and the u.s., press syrian regime forces to withdraw from a nearby town. >> sreenivasan: the u.n. security council demanded the peacekeepers be freed immediately, and without conditions. the russian ambassador to the u.n.-- presiding over the council this month-- called the incident bizarre. he said the peacekeepers are unarmed, and their mission has nothing to do with the civil war in syria. the government of egypt confronted new uncertainty today when a court suspended upcoming parliamentary elections. they had been scheduled to begin in april. the court ruled that the islamist-dominated parliament rushed through the law setting up the elections. it said the country's supreme constitutional court needs time to review the statute. advisers to president mohammed morsi said they plan to appeal the decision. the european union has fined microsoft more than $700 million for failing to provide a choice of internet browsers. the software giant had pledged in 2009 to make those options available to users of its windows operating system. instead, microsoft failed to
comply in at least 15 million installations of windows seven in europe between may 2011 and july 2012. the company blamed a technical error and agreed to pay the fine. on wall street today, the dow jones industrial average gained 42 points to close at 14,296-- reaching a record high for a second straight day. the nasdaq fell a point to close at 3,222. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to judy. >> woodruff: we turn to iraq and a new report critical of u.s. reconstruction efforts in the country. it was september, 2004. president bush appeared in the rose garden 18 months after he'd ordered the invasion of iraq. the insurgency was raging, but he had an optimistic view of the american effort beyond the fighting. >> electricity has been restored above prewar levels. telephone service has increased dramatically. more than 2,000 schools have been renovated and millions of new textbooks have been
distributed. there is much more work to be done. >> woodruff: now, a decade after the war began, iraqi and u.s. officials portray much of the work as failures, wasted opportunities, miscalculated and mistakes. it's all in a final report by the special inspector general for iraq reconstruction: stuart bowen. he offers a damning appraisal of a project well-intentioned, but hugely wasteful in money and lives. to date, rebuilding iraq has cost more than $60 billion in u.s. funds and more than 700 people have died supporting reconstruction apart from tens of thousands of iraqis and 4,400 americans killed in the war itself. prime minister nouri al-maliki told bowen that "the overall benefit to iraq was small when compared with the size of the sums spent." and u.s. senator susan collins
of maine said, "the level of fraud, waste and abuse in iraq was appalling". she recalled she was angered to learn that reconstruction money found its way into the hands of insurgent groups. bowen also concluded that $8 billion of a separate fund of nearly $24 billion in iraqi money was wasted. it came from iraqi oil and gas revenues and seized assets, and was flown to baghdad by the u.s. in the form of cash. california congressman henry waxman was incredulous at that revelation, in 2007. >> the cash weighed more than 363 tons and was loaded onto c- 130 cargo planes to be flown into baghdad. the numbers are so large that it doesn't seem possible that they're true. who in their right mind would send 360 tons of cash into a war zone? >> woodruff: according to bowen,
the list of poorly-conceived, over-budget and badly-managed projects is long, including: a $100 million waste-water treatment plant in fallujah that serves only 9,000 homes, and is eight years behind schedule. and the basra children's hospital, in iraq's south: 200% over budget, four years behind schedule and still incomplete. i'm joined now by the author of the report, the special inspector general for iraq reconstruction, stuart bowen. we thank you for being with us. >> thank you for having me, judy. >> woodruff: so you were appointed to this position nine years ago. it was during the bush administration, the very beginning of all this. what was your mission? what did they-- what were you originally told you were supposed to do? >> to audit and inspect the programs and projects of coalition provisional authority and to provide advice and recommendations to the congress on iraq's reconstruction. >> woodruff: did you have any idea then of the magnitude of
what you were going to be doing? >> well are the first sign of it was my first trip to iraq in february of 2004 when i was walking the halls of the republican palace behind two people and one turned to the other and said, "we can't do that anymore. there's a new inspector general here." that sent me a signal that the challenges before me were quite substantial. >> woodruff: as we said, $60 billion, and you write it's the largest relief and reconstruction effort for one country in u.s. history. what happened to the money? >> well, it was spent, about half of it, on security, on training the iraqi police and the army. and why? because the security situation deteriorated gravely in 2004 and 2005 into a virtual civil war in 2006 and 2007 that required the surge, a multi-level strategy to push back that violence, which eventually it did. the other half was spent on capacity building. major reconstruction projects.
and i say in our report learning from iraq, at least $8 billion was wasted ?rood and you do single out security. >> yes. >> woodruff: so was that-- that was essential to the ability of the reconstruction effort to be complete. >> that's right. when ambassador negroponte arrived in the middle of 2004 and reviewed the coalition provisional authority spend plan he realized not enough was being spent on security, andry ordered the reprogramming of over $3 billion into security, but then the iraqi security forces fund was created by the congress, and it spent $20 billion over the next seven years. p, beginning under general petraeus' leadership, and it did so, i think, to good effect. iraq's security of forces today are better equipped and better trained than they've ever been. >> woodruff: so you're saying something good did come out of it. >> yes, the iraqis i interviewed said things like, "fly over
baghdad i can't point at a construction, piece of construction that the united states built." a lot of that money was spent on building capacity, providing equipment, and it is truep that a lot of our infrastructure efforts fell well short of what was expected because of the failure to consult. but a lot of our money paid off in the capacity building side of the security sector. >> woodruff: "failure to." what does that mean? >> in this report i interviewed all the iraqi leadership, present and past, and they said almost to a person their chief complaint was the united states did not consult with them about what iraq really needed and instead pursued a program that it desired. deputy secretary of state bill burned said this to me in my interview with him that we tried to do it all and do it our open way. and i think that's at a core lesson from iraq, that you have to, as general petraeus said, understand the culture.
understand the politics. understand the economy. >> woodruff: excuse me, so, for example the children's hospital we mentioned in basra, the waste water treatment plant in fallujah. are you saying the iraqis wouldn't have wanted those things built? >> actually, they didn'tment the water treatment plant as we were initially pursuing it, but the challenge there was building it in the middle of a war zone. that was the problem. in basra, yes, i think that they needed a help-- significant health care center, but it was chosen in a very difficult part of the city. and that's what caused so many dlaidz. >> woodruff: what about abuse? we heard the quote from senator solshe said the level of waste, fraud, and abuse was she said appalling. in terms of fraud. you talked about the waste. what about the level of fraud? >> we've achieved 82 convictions of u.s. contractors and
government personnel who committed crimes in iraq and recovered over $191 million from those cases. we have 60-plus ongoing cases which we will continue to pursue through the balance of this fiscal year, and i expect it's least 20 more convictions in the recovery, at least $100 million. >> woodruff: was that-- is that par for the course when that much money is being spent or was there something particular to iraq? >> there was something particular to iraq, judy. the lack of controls at the outset created what one person called a "free fraud zone" in iraq. and the bloom-stein conspiracy we broke in hillah, babylon, in 2004, convicted a-- three lieutenant kernels. phillip boom, the contractor, had three previous convictions -- >> woodruff: these are americans. >> yes, this was a man who had control over hundred of millions
of dollars, and he told me when we interviewed him a few years ago that, hey, if there had been a powerful, robust oversight presence on the ground, that the crimes that they engaged in wouldn't have happened. >> woodruff: stuart bowen you were observing all this from the very beginning. did you see as you went along the mistakes that were being made? >> yes, i did, and we reported on them. and this the lesson learned report we produced. i didn't want to just run a police blotter of convictions or a long list of auditor findings. i wanted to take what we were learning, what we saw along the way and turn them into recommendations to the congress and agencies, the state department, the department of defense, national development into useful, best practices gloold my question is, was the government, the state department, listen toss you as the years went by and you were submitting this? >> yes, yes, they were. the the department of defense did engage in a reform of its
entire approach to contingency contracting. and i think the state department always absorbed the need for on-the-ground oversight. early on, there wasn't enough. later there was more. there can always be more oversight i think in a stabilization operation. >> woodruff: let me ask you this-- how should the american people view this? should they be angry this about this much money-- you said some was well spent but a lot of it was not. >> in an era of very difficult economic circumstances $8 billion in waste a report of such would make anybody angry. so i understand that, but the lesson from iraq to draw from that waste, from that fraud, is that we have to plan better. we have to execute better. we have to oversee better these kinds of operations. stabilization and reconstruction operations are a reality with us to stay, hopefully never again the size of iraq and
afghanistan. we've had them before-- the balkans, panama, somalia, haiti and we will have them again. >> woodruff: i guess my-- with all due respect-- that sounds like common sense-- plan ahead, look at all the contingencies. i mean, why wouldn't that be part of a reconstruction? >> excellent point, judy. and you're right many of these lessons do appear to be commonned sense realities, but-- but-- the activities on the ground in iraq drive these lessons. the 45 interviews that i conducted with the iraqi leaders, u.s. leaders, and congressional members framed these lessons, and they are straightforward. they are simple, and they must be learned. >> woodruff: and direct lessons for afghanistan. there will be reconstruction there. >> absolutely right. there is. >> woodruff: there is. there will be more. >> $90 billion in u.s. fund going into afghanistan. and the special inspector general for afghan reconstruction has his hands
full in accounting for all of that. >> woodruff: is he looking at what you discovered? >> yes, he is. quite a number of the auditors and investigators who serve with me have moved over to work in his office and i'm confident that we're--un, he's going to be cracking down and be very effective in imposing the necessary oversight. >> woodruff: $60 billion here, $90 billion in afghanistan. >> that's right. >> woodruff:e.>> woodruff:ed w.r being with us. >> woodruff: and if you want to read the full report on iraq reconstruction, you can find a link on our website. >> ifill: now to venezuela, where much of the country mourned the death of president hugo chavez today. margaret warner reports. >> warner: thousands of mourners lined the streets of caracas today, as a military honor guard moved president hugo chavez's body from the hospital where he
died, to the capital's military academy. there he will lie in state. huge crowds, led by vice president nicolas maduro, joined in the emotional procession. some shouted anti-american slogans. many vowed to uphold chavez' socialist ideals. >> ( translated ): venezuelans of heart and conviction, we believe in the legacy of president chavez, and this sustains us to fight for our country, our families and our children. >> ( translated ): chavez lives. chavez lives because i am chavez and because most of us are chavez. long live chavez! >> warner: chavez was one of six sons born to impoverished parents in 1954, in a cattle- ranching region in western venezuela. he was raised by his grandmother, joined the army at just 16, and eventually became a paratrooper, with the rank of lieutenant colonel. in 1992, he led a coup attempt
against then-president carlos andrew perez and a government riddled with corruption and social divisions. the coup failed, but the move catapulted chavez to national prominence. he was jailed, but pardoned two years later, and in 1998, ran for president and won pledging to usher in social and economic equality in a new constitution. venezuelan president hugo chavez swearing in as president: >> ( translated ): i swear before god, i swear before the homeland, i swear in front of my people on this moribund constitution that i will comply and boost the democratic transformations necessary so that the new republic will have a magna carta adequate to the new times. i swear it. >> warner: venezuela is the world's second largest oil- producer, and chavez nationalized the oil industry and used the revenue to build a welfare state. he subsidized food and built housing and medical clinics - often staffed by cuban doctors. the u.s. is the world's top consumer of venezuelan oil, but
washington bristled at chavez's embrace of cuba's fidel castro and his advocacy of leftist revolution in latin america. in 2002, chavez was briefly deposed in a failed coup, and accused the u.s. of playing a role. and as the years went by, he delighted in flamboyant verbal assaults on american leaders. he took the podium at the u.n. general assembly in 2006, with choice words about then- president george w. bush. >> ( translated ): this podium where it is now my turn to speak still smells of sulphur! yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, at this same rostrum, mr. president of the united states was here, the one i call the devil. he came here, talking as if he owned the world, as if he owned the world. >> warner: chavez was less hostile toward president obama, even saying they would vote for each other in their respective
re-election bids last fall. >> ( translated ): if i were american, i would vote for obama. and i think if obama was from here, from barlovento venezuelan some neighborhood in caracas, he would vote for chavez. i am sure of it. >> warner: in a statement last night, mr. obama signaled hopes for a more constructive, less volatile relationship with venezuela, saying: "as venezuela begins a new chapter in its history, the united states remains committed to policies that promote democratic principles, the rule of law, and respect for human rights." chavez' long, and ultimately losing battle with cancer is thought to have started in 2011. he made multiple trips to cuba for treatment. but last july, he proclaimed himself cancer-free, and won another six-year term in the october election. in november came word that the cancer had returned, and chavez went back to havana for more treatment. before leaving, he named vice- president nicolas maduro his hand-picked successor.
>> ( translated ): if something were to occur, that would render me unfit in some way, in that situation, nicolas maduro should not just complete, as the constitution requires, the term, but my firm opinion, full like a you elect nicolas maduro as president of the bolivarian republic of venezuela. >> warner: his illness kept chavez from returning to venezuela for his january 10th inauguration. and, over the objections of opposition leaders, the venezuelan supreme court declared the inauguration could be postponed. chavez made his final homecoming in february, but wasn't seen in public. he remained in a military hospital until his death yesterday at 58. now, venezuela must hold a new presidential election in the weeks just ahead. it would likely pit vice president maduro... >> ( translated ): may our people know that the democratic, revolutionary, anti-imperialist and socialist legacy of our comandante is carried on with firmness, with absolute loyalty. >> warner: ...against the man
chavez defeated last fall, former governor henrique capriles. >> ( translated ): to the government, who are burdened with the principal responsibility of guaranteeing coexistence in freedom and in peace, we hope, like all venezuelans do, that they act in strict accordance with their constitutional duties. >> warner: there is also some question about who runs venezuela in the interim-- the vice president or the speaker of the national assembly. >> ifill: online, we have more on venezuela's vice president nicolas maduro, and his loyalty to hugo chavez. >> woodruff: next, american catholics and the church. as cardinals gather in rome and prepare to select the next pope, ray suarez looks at the challenges the vatican faces connecting with roman catholics here in the u.s. >> suarez: among american
catholics there have long been differences between the pulpit and the pew. but new polls suggest an even wider gap between the leadership and lay people in 2013. the latest data comes from a "new york times"/cbs poll released today. it found that more than half of u.s. catholics say the church is out of touch with peoples' needs. seven out of 10 say pope benedict and the vatican did a poor job of handling the sexual abuse scandals. nearly seven out of 10 also said they favored allowing priests to marry; ordaining women as priests and allowing artificial methods of birth control. however, most also said they felt their own parish was responsive to their needs. we discuss all this with scott appleby. he studies american religious history at the university of notre dame. and james towey, president of ave maria university. he was director of the white house office of faith based and community initiatives in the george w. bush administration. professor appleby, what do you make of the survey results?
are they just an intensification of trends that were already present? >> american catholicalatey have been at some distance from the vatican and the hierarchy on some of the issues you mentioned for several years now, and many would say that they feel much more comfortable, much more catholic in their local parish. and that's partly because their local priest and the sisters and other whose work in the parish understand their daily needs and interactions. it's difficult to find the connection with the vatican or even with the archwhen you're working in a local faith community, and that's your experience of catholicism. so there's a lot of satisfaction about the compassion and love and nurture there. many of the problems facing the vatican worldwide don't touch the lives of ordinaryicals. and so there's a disconnection there, and some of the teachings
as they're explained to parishioners don't meet, or match their own faith-filled experience and that's a problem. >> suarez: president towey what, do you make of the numbers? >> i wasn't surprised a lot. when you're polling self-identified catholics you might get different outcomes if you poll individuals at mass every sunday. i think people like local parish. i think it's like polls that show congress very unpopular but yet the individual congressmen, their home congressman or congresswoman is very popular with them. so i think there is always a need for the church to be attentive to what are the views of the laity, and i think scott is right that this follows some trends we've seen, really, for decades on the fact that some of the church's teachings are unpopular. >> suarez: you're right when you say the answers might be different among maz-attendingicals. they are very different, not as sciewd in many of the examples that i gave.
>> i think for some individuals, the experience of the catholic faith-- maybe they were cradle catholics and left the church or recently left the church-- and their experience would be different to those who find the cablg faith integral to their daily lives. you see in the election where president obama won the catholic vote but among those attending masso sunday he lost it to sunday. even in the church, and 99 at niewgzs like notre dame and array vamea university we am have different takesop displawr you keep a close watch on trends upon in american religion. is there something distinctive in the catholic recollection in this regard, a split between what's taught and held in the denomination, and what's professed by individual believers. >> it's interesting to see that catholics on some measures track very closely with some secular
trends, more so than evangelical protestants, than mormons than other religious groups and churches and mosqueds in the united states, and that's partly because catholics have assimilated very rapidly over the last couple of decades into the american main stream and in some ways they have divided. emphasized different values, and different metrics of what count for success, and how to make judgments about everything from family to economy to one's profession. and as catholics have assimilated over the last 30 or 40 years into leadership polingses and to elite positions in congress and business across the board, there's a struggle for their loyalties, especially on area where's church teaching seems to contradict or at least is prophetically opposed to what counts for what's going in the
mainstream. >> suarez: james towey, does that explain to you why there was a call for about-face on a lot of catholic teachings month pollsters they spoke to? >> it doesn't surprise me at all, ray. the reality is the catholic church's teachings are often a sign of contradiction. the position on birth control would be a minority position if you put it up for a vote. you know, i think that the church is always going to be standing there often in opposition to cultural trends, the kardashian culture that we live in. and so when you see a poll come out today that says, for example, they want-- they want to see women ordained as priests, or they want to see priests being able to marry, those track what you would see with other christian denominations that have clergy
and from my point of view, i've only grown up knowing a catholic church holding a minority opinion on a lot of striewz but i'm proud to believe catholic and i share those views. >> suarez: scott appleby, let's talk a little bit about what the sexual abuse scandal has done to the modern church. this is something that the roman catholic church has been living with now for over a decade. has it caused a deeper cleavage between pulpit and pew? >> it's been absolutely devastating for the church. not only financially, materially, but a loss of trust for my generation of young catholics, the second vatican council, updating, religious freedom, ecumenical relations, the turn to the world and the social justice, that was the significant event in church history as i was growing up catholic. for the people we teach at notre dame and ave maprixa, what they've heard about in
catholicism is the sexual abuse scandal and the cover-up associated with it by bishops and now cardinals who have not done what many other people in positions of responsibility outside the church would have done in terms of due diligence and reporting. i agree with what's been said about the church being prophetic. i mentioned that myself. the other thing that is part of the genius of catholicism is learning what is good in the culture itself. god is out there in the secular world, too, by the way. what do we learn from the secular world and how can we affiliate or connect that with our own catholic values. in terms of protection of children, in terms of certain due process within the church, we could learn a lot from society that would correspond to gospel values. and i think part of the failure on the sexual abuse scandal has been the church circled the
wagons and been in an understandably defensive posture but hasn't played to its best strength, which is affirmation of what is good in the world and what is true there. >> suarez: let me hear from james towey on the same issue, especially now as the cardinals gather in rome in the conclave and look ahead to a new leader for the worldwide church. >> well, i think the american cardinals eye know many of them-- they're acutely aware of the failures of the church to respond in a proper way. it was an embarrassment. it was a period of shame. i think the church is attempting to take steps to remedy the causes of what led to this awful tragedy and scandal, that scandalized not just catholics but people of all faict. i think there is, clearly, a damage that has been done. but i look at the young people that are seeing the new evangelization, the religious dialogue and seeing the church in other part of the world like africa and south america and latin america where the church is really growing and vibe rapt and young. while the american and western
european and other areas that have been particularly saddled with shaims of the scandals, that's a concern for allicals. >> suarez: thank you, both. >> thank you, ray. >> thank you, ray, great to be with you. >> woodruff: we'll be back shortly with the story of the acid attack on the director of the bolshoi ballet. but first, this is pledge week on pbs. this break allows your public television station to ask for your support. and that support helps keep programs like ours on the air. >> ifill: for those stations not taking a pledge break, we take a second look at a story from our "after newtown" series about the gun debate in colorado, where two mass murders have happened in recent years. special correspondent megan verlee from colorado public radio reports. >> he was such an amazing guy. >> reporter: jessica watts has knows first hand the tragedy of gun violence.
last july, her cousin was gunned down in the aurora theater shooting that killed 11 others. but that wasn't the first random shooting to touch her life. in 1999, her husband-- a student at columbine high school-- watched as 12 classmates and one teacher were killed by two students with rifles. then in 2006, a 16-year old family friend was killed in an attack by a gunman at a high school in the small mountain town of bailey, just west of denver. >> there's always a reminder somewhere in this you know city where so much tragedy has happened. >> reporter: watts said never in her life had she really thought about gun policy or becoming politically involved. but the aurora shooting combined with the massacre in newtown, connecticut spurred her to action. >> it was something positive to put, to put my, my mind and energy towards, so that i wasn't you know necessarily like us drowning in sorrow all the time.
>> reporter: these days, watts is advocating for gun control bills at both the federal and state level. >> gun violence is destroying our families and our communities, taking our loved ones. and we've had enough. >> reporter: last month, she was there in the colorado statehouse when democrats unveiled a broad package of gun bills. many of the proposals are familiar from the federal gun debate: a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines, universal background checks and more emphasis on getting mental health warnings into the background check system. >> enough is enough and the time is now. ( applause ) >> reporter: state representative fields is a lead sponsor of the bills. like watts, her political activism was spurred by a personal connection to violence. seven years ago her son was gunned down in the streets of aurora. then this summer, she got a middle-of-the night call about the mass shooting in her district. >> we went into this grief mode. this disbelief mode. the initial month was attending
memorial services and dealing with the loss. and then after that, when all the cameras left, that's when the real work began in reference to what can we do? >> reporter: while fields supports all of the gun control measures, she says extending background checks to private sales, is perhaps the most important. >> if we can keep the guns out of the hands of criminals, i think that's where we can make our greatest impact. and with the background check, felons won't be able to get access to a gun from a private seller. if you're mentally ill or if you are a domestic abuser, you will not have access to a gun unless you take a c.b.i. check. so i think it closes that loophole and that's a good thing. >> reporter: the colorado house passed four gun measures last month. those bills, plus three additional ones are being debated this week in the senate. with both chambers and the governor's office controlled by democrats, gun rights advocates have turned out in force to lobby against new restrictions. >> we're going to oppose these,
we're going to work hard to defeat them all. >> reporter: dudley brown heads the group rocky mountain gun owners. >> the question for the democrat caucus is are you really ready to stake 2014 elections on the gun issue? because the democratic party has done that before and paid the price. and they're going to pay the price again. >> reporter: brown says his members are already calling and mailing lawmakers. even republicans are feeling the heat. >> here in colorado we had the aurora shooting, that certainly brought up the tension for everyone. >> reporter: republicans like state senator kevin lundberg have their own proposals. they've introduced bills to pressure businesses into allowing concealed weapons on their property and to let some teachers carry guns. >> we need to fix it is before the trigger is pulled. it's the deterrence that occurs when the bad guy knows there are good guys in that room that can defend and stop any assault that occurs.
>> reporter: for those who make a living from the firearm business, the most troubling proposals are the ones that try to ban certain weapons or size of magazines. richard taylor manages the firing line shooting range and gun shop in aurora, located less than a mile from last summer's theater attack. he says the proposed legislation at both the federal and state level will be both intrusive and ineffective. >> it's just a feel good, knee- jerk reaction to some of these awful incidents that have happened. is it going to stop anything from happening? absolutely not. the only people that are really going to be affected by any of this legislation are law-abiding citizens. >> reporter: if there is any middle ground in the gun legislation debate, it may be over how to prevent severely mentally ill persons from obtaining guns. >> the one thing that everybody's been missing the boat on, that they've finally started to talk about since newtown, is the mental health aspect of it. nearly all of these unfortunate incidents, there have been
indications and signs that the person who's perpetuated these has been under pressure, you know mentally affected in some way. and that's the major thing we have to look at. >> reporter: but not everyone agrees. state senator lundberg says that with studies showing that nearly 50% of americans at some point seek mental health treatment, he worries restrictions may be overly broad. >> nobody denies there needs to be a proper system for helping people who need the help but the question is where is that line where it crosses over where everybody ends up on some sort of list and somehow we all become mentally deficient somehow by their standards? i'm sorry, that doesn't fit >> reporter: both sides-- at the federal and state level-- say they know the coming months won't be easy, but they will be critical. >> there's this fear that if you go after gun legislation or gun reform or go after the n.r.a.
that it's going to mean you'll get primaried in the election or they'll force people not to vote for you. i think that's a false fear, we should do things that are right for our community. >> reporter: the full senate is expected to begin voting on the gun measures later this week. >> woodruff: you can find our ongoing coverage of america's gun debate on our home page. >> ifill: finally tonight, the disturbing story of attacks on the chief of the bolshoi ballet. moscow police said today they arrested a russian ballet star for organizing an acid attack on artistic director sergei filin in january. he was badly burned and injured after a jar of sulfuric acid was thrown at his face. the dancer, pavel dmitri-chenko, had performed many times before at the bolshoi.
police say he confessed to masterminding the crime. the arrests are prompting more questions about this shocking attack in the world of the arts. michael schwirtz is following this for the "new york times." welcome. so how did this unfold? we know it was a typical crime story in some ways, but also very a-typical. >> wls, you have to understand that the competition inside the bolshoi theater is very, very intense, and especially since the fall of the soviet union, there's been a growing factionalism within the organization between traditionalists who want to keep to the classics of ballet, and those who would like to sigh more modernist interpretation than had been allowed in the baft. >> ifill: and sergei filin was which one of those? >> sergei filin was definitely, definitely more experimental in his approach to the ballet, which gained him a loat of
praisefrom some of the ballet world, but also earned him some enemies and the prime suspect in this case, of course, pavel dmitrichenko, is known as a pierce defender of the classics, and this is-- this is-- this has been one of the theories to what brought all of this about. >> ifill: i have to say it's one thing to disagree about direction and disagree about doing it the old way and doing it the new way, but sulfuric acid in your face seems extreme. this kind of passion normally associated with dancing in russia? >> it certainly rocked the institution, and in televised remarks today, which he confessed, pavel dmitrichenko admitted to orchestrating the attack but he said it had gone too far. it's unclear what he meant by that. but, no, this goes above and beyond anything that i think anybody has ever seen. certainly there have been competitions and rivalries in the past.
there have always been whispers backstage and corridors of rivals putting pins into their rivals' costumes or glass into their toe shoes, but notion of this nature, especially to throw asnid somebody's face, potentially blinding and ending sergei filin's career goes beyond what anybody thought was possible in the organization. >> ifill: tell us a little bit about sergei filin. is he a big figure in the field of dance? >> well, anybody who reaches the level of artistic director is going to be a huge figure in dance and be extremely frominent, and basically what his position allows him to do is cast the roles. there's been rumors since dmitrichenko's arrest that he was romantically involved with another ballet dancer who was thought to be sidelined by filin. so this is another thread to this whole conflict that seems to be emerging. >> ifill: and dmitrichenko is
just a member of the ballet or a rising star himself? >> he's a lead soloist. and in fact, sergei filin last year cast him in the role of ivan the terrible, lead role in that ballet. so one would think that at least in his career, they were getting along well. though he's criticized the management of the bolshoi in the past for the low salaries, what he claims to be the low salaries of ballet dancers in the troupe. he's also known as something of a hooligan, according to his colleagues, quick toanger and throw a punch. he's goot a large patoo on his forarm that says, "life is str struggle." >> ifill: how huge an institution is the bolshoi not only in the dance world but in russia itself. >> in russia, it's not just a great cultural institution. it's very much symbolic of the country's history and its greatness.
it's been around for over 200 years. and has weathered wars and all the soviet union and has remained this icon of greatness that many russians have really relied on when their country has been in its darkest days. and to see this curtain pulled back and the type of conflict and serious, serious rivalries that are going on inside of it has somewhat tarnished this image of an institution that was always seen as someone above the petty in-fighting and violent rivalries that russia has seen in other spheers of society. >> ifill: but, michael, in this case, as bizarre as it may seem has the lureid nature of this story in some ways given ballet a wider stage? >> i mean, it's definitely-- russians become infatuate infatn with this story and it's kind of
shakespearean drama and even the police in their investigation, famously, have publicly spoken about their newfound respect for what the ballet does and what it brings to russian society and have even openly "sergei filin to invite them to the ballet once he returns so they can also take part in it. maybe it is having an effect on #-r widening the appeal by kind of spilling its tbuts out into society like this. >> ifill: finally, even though we have a confession, might there be more to this investigation than meets the eye yet? >> certainly. in russia there's always kind of a belief in all of these great scandals that there's some bigger, darker, more influential individuals or groups behind the scenes controlling things. so who knows where this is headed. >> ifill: michael schwirtz of the "new york times," thanks so much. >> thank you.
>> woodruff: again, the major developments of the day: the u.s. house passed a republican budget bill to keep the government running through september. it still faces hurdles in the democratic-controlled senate. john brennan's nomination to be c.i.a. director ran into a senate filibuster, on whether drone strikes would ever be used inside the u.s. and the u.n. count of syrian refugees topped one million. meanwhile, syrian rebels took 21 u.n. peacekeepers hostage on the golan heights. does the solar system need protection from an earthly invasion? that's one worry for scientists at nasa. hari sreenivasan explains. >> sreenivasan: on science wednesday, we look at how scientists and engineers are preventing home-grown bacteria from contaminating other planets, moons and comets by keeping space craft biologically clean. plus, on making sense, to consume or not to consume? that is the question for two
economists, who debate the morality of spending versus saving. all that and more is on our website www.newshour.pbs.org. judy? >> woodruff: and that's the on thursday, we'll talk with house democratic leader nancy pelosi. i'm judy woodruff. >> ifill: and i'm gwen ifill. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening. thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us.
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from jordan. >> it is nearly two years since the revolution began and night after night, scenes like these are being repeated along syria's borders. cracks are video games actually are? a new exhibit may have you? >> are video games actually art? a new video game may have you thinking twice. -- a new exhibit may have you thinking twice. welcome to our viewers on public television in america and elsewhere around the globe. today, this -- the streets of caracas were packed with tens of thousands of people mourning the death of the president, hugo job as. after 14 years in power, the leader died after cancer on tuesday. the funeral will take place this friday. we start our coverage in venezuela. >> in many ways, this has been >> in many ways, this has been the most personal and